Two-handled jar (amphora) depicting a woman seated on a bull

Late Archaic Period
about 500–490 B.C.
Attributed to Edinburgh Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

CVA Boston 1, pl. 50.


Height: 27.8 cm (10 15/16 in.); diameter: 18.2 cm (7 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



Side A: woman seated on bull. She has long, loose hair and a head scarf. The messenger god Hermes walks in front.
Side B: woman seated on bull. Her hair is bound. Both figures of the woman are dressed in an elaborate gown.
This may represent the mythological abduction of Europa by Zeus, who has turned himself into a bull.

“The Edinburgh Painter is the first important painter of the large cylinder lekythoi. His style derives directly from that of the Leagros Group, bu when he decorates vases other than lekythoi they are small neck amphorae or lekane lids, rather than the larger vases favored by the Group, of which we have only one or two from his hand. Soon after the start of his painting career he introduced two innovations. First is the trivial but easily detectable one of reducing the number of palmettes on the lekythos shoulder from seven (characteristic of the Leagros Group) to five. The other is more important - the use of a thikc white ground for the body picture instead of the customary red clay ground. The white ground becomes regular now for all the finer lekythoi as well as many of the simpler, patterned vases, and it is introduced for some other shapes like the oinochoai and small neck amphorae decorated by the lekythos painters. The Edinburgh Painter’s style is clear, simple and uncluttered, the expression of his actors rather vacant with big round eyes.He is capable of delicacy of detail but real finesse is no longer to be looked for in black figure. His range of myth and genre scenes is notable and on late black figure is only rivalled by his immediate companions and successors…” (J. Boardman, p.147, Athenian Black Figure Vases: a handbook)


By 1876: Thomas G. Appleton Collection (purchased from Alessandro Castellani and said to be from Capua); gift of Thomas G. Appleton to MFA, 1876

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas Gold Appleton